Gluten Free Christmas Cake

Ingredients

  • GLUTEN FREE FRUIT CAKE
  • 100g glacé cherries
  • 500g mixed dried fruit
  • 100g flaked or ground almonds
  • 1 lemon, grated rind and juice
  • 2 tbsp brandy or apple juice
  • 150g FREEE Plain White Flour
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 125g butter
  • 125g soft brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • ICING
  • 3 tbsp apricot jam
  • 400g marzipan
  • 500g fondant icing
  • FROSTED HERBS DECORATION
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • caster sugar, for dusting
  • fresh rosemary fronds
  • fresh cranberries

Method

Gluten Free Fruit Cake 

  1. Pre-heat the oven.
  2. Line the base and sides of a 20cm/8” deep, round cake tin with a double layer of parchment or greaseproof paper.
  3. Cut a 300mm/12” square of parchment, greaseproof or brown paper, fold the corners to meet in the middle, press to make folded flaps and save for later.
  4. Measure out the cherries, chop them in half and put them into a large mixing bowl.
  5. Weigh the mixed dried fruit and almonds into the bowl.
  6. Grate the lemon, squeeze the juice and add these to the bowl.
  7. Add the brandy or fruit juice and stir to combine.
  8. Measure the flour and mixed spice into another bowl, stir to mix and set aside.
  9. Put the butter and sugar into a large mixing bowl and beat together until light and fluffy.
  10. Beat in the eggs one at a time, ensuring each is well incorporated before adding the next.
  11. Add the prepared flour and beat again well.
  12. Stir in the prepared fruit and almonds.
  13. Tip the mixture into the prepared tin, pushing it down and smoothing the top.
  14. Place the prepared parchment paper square over the cake tin with the folded flaps pointing down to loosely cover the cake when it goes into the oven.
  15. Bake for 2-2¼ hours.
  16. Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 12 hours.

Icing

  1. Warm the apricot jam and spread it over the cold cake.
  2. Lightly dust the work surface with icing sugar and roll the marzipan into a 30cm/12” circle.
  3. Carefully lift the marzipan onto the cake, pressing and shaping it to cover the cake. Use your hands or a cake smoother.
  4. Trim away any excess marzipan and leave the cake for at least 12 hours for the marzipan to set.
  5. Either, proceed to the next step, or wrap the cake tightly in aluminium foil and store it in a tin until a few days before you plan to serve it.
  6. Roll the fondant icing into a large circle. Carefully lift it over the marzipan, pressing and shaping it with a cake smoother to cover the cake. Trim away any excess.
  7. To store the cake, wrap it in parchment and a double layer of tin foil before storing it in an airtight container where it will keep for several weeks.

Frosted Herbs Decoration

  1. Measure the caster sugar into a bowl and cover a large chopping board with parchment paper.
  2. Scatter the granulated sugar over the base of a saucepan and sprinkle the water evenly over the sugar.
  3. Put the saucepan over a medium heat until bubbles start to appear.
  4. Shake the pan, but do not stir, and leave it to simmer gently until the sugar is fully dissolved.
  5. Remove the pan of clear syrup from the heat.
  6. Carefully slide a few rosemary fronds into the hot syrup.
  7. Turn the herbs in the syrup so that they are fully coated.
  8. Using tongs, lift up the rosemary, one piece at a time, and allow excess syrup to drain off.
  9. Transfer the herbs to the bowl of caster sugar and turn them over so they are well covered in sugar.
  10. Lift the sugared herbs onto the parchment paper and spread out the herb leaves if required.
  11. Dust a little caster sugar over the herbs and leave them to dry.
  12. Repeat the frosting process with the cranberries.
  13. When completely dry, place the frosted rosemary and cranberry on the top of your iced cake.